Gas prices got you down? While you can’t control the cost at the pump, you can take steps to improve your gas mileage. One of the easiest ways? Switch to 0w20 engine oil.
Keep reading to learn what 0w20 oil is, why it boosts fuel economy, what vehicles can benefit, and how to transition to 0w20 oil the right way. With this innovative oil weight, you can maximize your MPG and savings.
What is 0w20 Oil?
0w20 represents the viscosity grade of this motor oil, with the number before the “w” indicating its performance in cold temperatures and the number after representing viscosity at high temperatures.
The “0w” tells us this oil flows exceptionally well in frigid conditions while the “20” means it maintains enough thickness when hot to properly lubricate engine components. This combination helps 0w20 deliver benefits like:
- Improved fuel efficiency
- Smoother cold weather operation
- Extended oil change intervals
The “0w20” rating classifies this oil as a “multi-grade” product able to operate across a broad temp range. Most modern engines need multi-grade oils like 0w20 to optimize efficiency and durability.
Why Does 0w20 Oil Improve Gas Mileage?
Thinner oils like 0w20 reduce friction and internal pumping losses as they circulate through the engine. This freer flowing oil allows the engine to expend less energy during operation. Better lubrication pays off with higher combustion efficiency and ultimately improved MPG.
Experts estimate 0w20 oil can boost gas mileage by 1-3% compared to thicker oils. Those MPG gains quickly add up, saving you money at the gas station. These savings often offset the slightly higher cost of synthetic blend 0w20 oils.
Which Vehicles Use 0w20 Oil?
Most automakers recommending 0w20 oil install it at the factory, so check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle requires it.
Many modern cars and trucks equipped with gas or hybrid engines come filled with 0w20 oil from the dealership. This includes models like:
- Honda Accord, Civic, CR-V
- Toyota Prius, Camry, RAV4
- Ford Fusion, Escape, F-150
- Chevrolet Equinox, Malibu, Silverado
- Nissan Altima, Rogue, Pathfinder
Luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus may also specify 0w20 oil for certain models. Synthetic 0w20 oils meet the strict standards required by these engineering-intensive vehicles.
Choosing the Right 0w20 Oil
All 0w20 oils are not created equal. Pay attention to choosing the right oil meeting your automaker’s viscosity rating and performance specifications, typically listed in your manual.
Opt for synthetic blends which offer enhanced resistance to breakdown, helping maximize the time between oil changes. Top options include:
Mobil 1 0w20 – Offers advanced full synthetic formula protecting for up to 15,000 miles. Meets standards of leading automakers.
Castrol Edge 0w20 – Features anti-oxidants to help prevent oil breakdown. Receives high-marks in independent testing.
Pennzoil Platinum 0w20 – PurePlus synthetic base stock for added protection. Recommended for many newer Ford/GM vehicles.
Using the oil recommended by your manufacturer ensures maximum engine protection and efficiency. Do not simply guess which 0w20 oil is suitable!
Transitioning to 0w20 from Other Weights
Already using a thicker oil like 5w20 or 10w30? Take care when shifting to 0w20 to avoid issues:
- Only transition at your next oil change interval. Do not top off 0w20 early.
- Use a high-quality, OEM-approved detergent oil for cleaning.
- After draining old oil, replace filter and fill with 0w20 to proper level.
- Drive conservatively for first 500 miles for proper break-in.
- Check oil frequently for first 2,000 miles to ensure no leaks.
- Have a mechanic inspect engine if you notice any issues.
This gradual process gives the engine time to adjust to the thinner oil. Take the steps above and your vehicle will run smoothly with 0w20 in no time.
FAQs – Your 0w20 Oil Questions Answered
Still have questions about making the switch to 0w20? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Is it safe to use 0w20 in an older vehicle?
Follow your owner’s manual – most vehicles 10 years or older were not designed for 0w20 oil. Using it could lead to insufficient lubrication and wear. Stick with the recommended viscosity.
How often should I change 0w20 oil?
Again, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually around 5,000-10,000 miles. Some synthetics allow up to 15,000 mile intervals. Do not deviate without evidence.
Is it OK to switch oil weights seasonally?
Not recommended. Stick with one weight consistently, year-round. Oil is engineered to a specific viscosity. Seasonal changes could impact performance.
Can 0w20 oil cause leaks?
Thinner oils like 0w20 can exploit existing minor leaks, but they do not create new ones. Address any leaks during your transition to avoid this problem.
Does 0w20 oil provide enough protection?
Yes, when used in intended engines. Automakers account for 0w20’s flow characteristics when engineering vehicles to use it. Make sure to use the right 0w20 oil as outlined above.
Ready to Enhance Your MPG with 0w20?
Follow this complete guide to understand if 0w20 is right for your car, choose a high-quality product, and properly transition from conventional oil. Taking these steps pays off with optimizing your engine efficiency and gas mileage.
With gas prices continuing to rollercoaster, 0w20 oil is one way to protect your wallet at the pump. Consult your manual or auto technician to see if you could benefit from this fuel-saving engine oil. Your bank account will thank you!